Ironically, Planned Parenthood trembles in the face of its most faithful ally: the traditional media.
The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a tenth investigative video Sept. 15, that showed Planned Parenthood executives discussing aborted baby parts for money as a “valid exchange” for a “fair amount of income.” The Planned Parenthood executives admitted terror and distrust of the media – and worried about becoming a public relations or “P.R. issue” that might make headlines. A worry much unfounded, as MRC studies have found.
The video opened with Dr. Carolyn Westoff, Planned Parenthood’s Senior Medical Advisor, revealing her role in harvesting aborted baby parts to an actor posing as a tissue buyer.
“We’ve just been working with people who want particular tissues, like, you know, they want cardiac, or they want eyes, or they want neural,” she said, “Oh, gonads! Oh my God, gonads. Everything we provide is fresh.”
This isn’t the first time that the subjects of the videos have expressed zeal over the idea of chopping up human babies – like when workers laughed while sorting “5-star” baby parts in the fourth video or when a Planned Parenthood partner joked about shipping baby heads in the eighth video.
In her practice, Westhoff expressed fear of only one thing: the media.
“Obviously, we would have the potential for a huge H— P.R. issue by doing this,” she admitted.
Likewise, Vanessa Cullins, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of External Medical Affairs, “seem[ed] fully aware of the criminal exposure that fetal body parts sales present to Planned Parenthood,” according to CMP.
“This is important,” she said to the buyer in the undercover video. “This could destroy your organization and us, if we don’t time, you know, those conversations correctly.”
Getting straight to the point, Deborah VanDerhei, the National Director for Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS), asked the buyer about compensation for aborted baby parts: “Can I ask you about remuneration?” According to CMP, CAPS is “an influential committee within Planned Parenthood that drives abortion policy across the organization.”
VanDerhei also admitted dread of getting caught by the media.
“I have been talking to the executive director of the National Abortion Federation, we’re trying to figure this out as an industry, about how we’re going to manage remuneration,” she admitted, “because the headlines would be a disaster.”
Because there is not Planned Parenthood national policy, VanDerhei recommended that, for those who want to “engage in remuneration,” “you really need to, like, think that through” as in “think New York Times headline when you’re creating your policy” – a sentiment she expressed more than once in the video.
But the media isn’t enough of a threat to keep her organization from trafficking aborted baby parts. When VanDerhei learned that the buyer offers around $100 per specimen, she remarked, “we have independent colleagues who generate a fair amount of income doing this.”
In regards to Planned Parenthood’s participation in aborted baby parts, VanDerhei recommended talking “in person” on the topic. “It’s an issue you might imagine that we’re not that comfortable talking about on email,” she said.
VanDerhei also appeared in a later conversation with Vanessa Russo, Compliance Program Administrator for Planned Parenthood Keystone in Pennsylvania. Russo told VanDerhei to brush off any fear of the law – and the media.
“We can’t consent to be bullied by ridiculous laws and this media that doesn’t understand the big picture,” Russo demanded before going on to talk about “research.”
Russo also argued that, “A company like this that wants to give our organization money for the tissue, like, I think that that’s a valid exchange, and that that’s okay.” VanDerhei confirmed with an, “Mhm.”
VanDerhei consoled Russo by saying that “there are Planned Parenthoods that participate in donation programs that are reimbursed for it” and adding “it’s fine.”
She listed Northern California, Mar Monte and Los Angeles as clinics that “all provide donation for remuneration.”
CMP’s press release highlighted that, “The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2).
The video is part of CMP’s years-long investigative study and documentary web series, “Human Capital,” which delves into Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting aborted baby parts.
Planned Parenthood executives’ fear and disgust of the media is laughable, as the media loyally serve as a PR firm for the abortion giant.
Since the release of CMP’s first video, the broadcast networks have proven hesitant to publicize the story – and when they did, they refused to even utter the word “baby.”
On Monday, MRC Culture found that ABC, NBC and CBS had aired a mere 0.13% of the CMP footage during their news shows – or 1 minute, 13 seconds of more than 16 hours. Likewise, a month ago, MRC Culture discovered the networks spent an embarrassing 0.008% of their news shows playing the CMP footage: 1 minute, 13 seconds out of 243 hours and 30 minutes.
From the beginning, the liberal media raced to defend Planned Parenthood. In the first 9 hours and 30 minutes of news shows broadcast after the story broke, ABC, NBC and CBS, spent only 39 seconds on the first video. It took more than 24 hours before all three covered the story. In the week after the first video, the networks gave a mere 9 minutes and 11 seconds to the story (in contrast, the nets devoted more than three times that to the Susan G. Komen controversy, when the charity temporarily decided to defund the abortion giant).
ABC, NBC and CBS prioritized animals over aborted babies, covering the shooting of Cecil the lion more in one day than they did these videos in two weeks – as well as the birth of the National Zoo’s panda cubs.
The three networks haven’t mentioned the content of CMP’s last five videos. In fact, the networks haven’t covered a single Planned Parenthood video release in more than one month.
Not only that, but also they refused to cover the tens of thousands of Americans speaking out against Planned Parenthood during rallies held in late August – except once, when CBS tried to connect the event to arson.
The media similarly stayed silent on the case of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell’s trial, in which witnesses described baby abortion survivors “swimming” in toilets “to get out,” attracted a scant 12–15 reporters. Only after 56 days, multiple letters from members of the House of Representatives and a public outcry, did all three broadcast networks report on Gosnell.
Planned Parenthood History
Planned Parenthood received more than $528 million in taxpayer funding during the fiscal year 2013-2014. That amounted to more than $1.4 million per day, through government grants, contracts and Medicaid reimbursements.
According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the U.S. ranks second in the world for the number of abortions performed each year. The research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List also found that, “If Planned Parenthood were included for comparison, it would rank sixth in the world in number of abortions carried out annually.”
As the Project Lead for CMP, David Daleiden commented on the newly released video.
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“From email black-outs to contorted oxymorons like ‘donation for remuneration,’” he said in a press release, “the lengths to which Planned Parenthood leadership will go to cover-up their illegal sale of aborted baby parts are nothing less than the desperation of a guilty conscience.”
As the president of Students for Life of America, Kristan Hawkins also challenged the practices of Planned Parenthood in this tenth video.
“Planned Parenthood knew that if it ever got out that they were taking money for the body parts of babies they were aborting, that it would be a ‘PR disaster,’” she said in a press release. “That’s why they don’t have a written on policy on such matters. That’s why they don’t want it in emails.”
Call for action in Congress, Hawkins added, “Every single Congressman and Senator needs to watch these videos.” She continued, “The time for rhetoric is over; now is the time for leadership and action.”
Likewise, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser responded to the “further evidence that Planned Parenthood profits from the illegal harvest and sale of the body parts of aborted children.”
“Senior abortion industry officials feared the New York Times headlines if these facts were to be exposed, and now they have been,” she warned, before calling on Congress to defund Planned Parenthood redirect funds to “more comprehensive health care centers.”
“No one should feel comfortable affixing his or her name to a budget that prolongs this atrocity,” she said. “It is up to President Obama to make clear why he believes our government has no higher priority than guaranteeing that the abortion industry can continue the piecemeal sale of baby body parts –‘fresh’ liver, eyes, brain, gonads, and more – without losing a dime of taxpayer dollars.”
Live Action’s Lila Rose added that the video “shows at what length Planned Parenthood executives will go to cover up the illegal harvesting of and profiting from baby parts.”
“Multiple executives also discuss the public relations nightmare should these illegal practices become public,” she said in a statement. “The nightmare is a reality, and along with continuing its multiple investigations into the abortion giant, Congress should immediately stop funneling over half a billion taxpayer dollars into Planned Parenthood and instead redirect the money to the over 13,000 community health centers that provide comprehensive healthcare to women.”